Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Parenting an Only Child

When you are a parent to an only child, people tend to see it as a beacon to ask," so when are you having your second one?" or maybe even tell you knowingly, "it's time for your next kid before the age gap is too big, you know!". Yes, even I am guilty of asking such questions.. although I try to catch myself before I do nowadays.

It is a never-ending cycle of questions from well-meaning friends and family members. When you are single they ask when you are going to have a partner. When you are dating, they ask when you are going to get married. When you are married they ask when are you going to have kids. When you have your first child, they ask when you are going to have your second one. And they when the kids are older, I'm sure they will ask when you are going to be a grandparent!

It's taken us a while, and I don't know when it started, but I know that I would like to have a second kid. A younger sibling for Lil Pumpkin, another child to love and care for. I used to wonder if having a second kid meant that our time and love for her will diminish. However, I've come to realise that even though there's a limit to time, love knows no bounds. It doesn't mean that if we love Lil Munchkin {tentative nick for the 2nd kid} we will love Lil Pumpkin less. No, our love for all our kids will at least double and both will mean the world to us!

Every time someones tells me it's time for a second kid, I laugh it off and tell them yes, don't worry, when the time comes we will have another one. Go with the flow, you know? What they don't know is that each time they say that, it just reminds me how we have been unsuccessful the past few months. What they don't know is that each time they talk about the joys of having more than one kid, I worry I might have some kind of fertility issues that make having another kid difficult.

I'm probably just over-thinking all this. I understand "it's time", but please, instead of the constant reminders {which I'm sure I'll get more because of all the festive meet-ups and people suddenly realise how big Lil Pumpkin is}, give us your prayers that soon we will all see a Lil Munchkin!

Lil Pumpkin is such a beautiful child and I'm so so so sure she will be a great older sister :) Don't you think so too?

So how do you answer when others tell you it's time for another kid? 



Unknown said...

she is just gorgeous!
and I completely understand, people need to stop asking
they don't realise that sometimes the questions are heart breaking
good luck surviving the festive season and hope you have some good news soon

The Kids Are All Right said...

My eldest child was an only child for 10 years, and desperately wanted siblings. She got two sisters eventually, and while she adores them, I think it's been a difficult transition to go from only with two doting parents, to teenager with younger sisters and step-parents to compete with!

Aroha @ said...

I've taken to giving people one of two answers. Either:
1. "We got it right the first time, we don't need to have another" or
2. "We've gone through fertility cycles and not been successful. Please tell me again, how selfish I'm being only having one?" That shuts them up pretty quickly.

Everything crossed for you Ai that a Little Munchkin comes along soon. xo

Aroha @ Colours of Sunset said...

I've taken to giving people one of 2 responses lately. Either "We got it right the first time, we don't need to have another." Or "We've tried for 3 years, been to fertility specialists and been unsuccessful, please tell me again that I need to have another child." That usually keeps them quiet.

Best of luck to you Ai. I hope a little munchkin comes along soon. xo

CD said...

In one way, I think we're almost lucky that everyone saw the issues we went through with repeated miscarriages and then Squiggle's traumatic pregnancy. They KNOW without asking that we're not going to put ourselves through that again.

When strangers ask, because apparently it's perfectly normal to enquire about such things (!), I just say "we can't". I've found most people take it as a warning flag and stop right there.

Those who keep going beyond that answer, who push for more information?

I ignore their questions. I refuse to answer. Only one person has ever had the audacity to push beyond THAT and ask why I won't answer the question. She got asked how she would like to experience 8 miscarriages and then have someone asking why she wouldn't try again.

Stopping by via #ibot

~Summer~ said...

The dress looks fab on lil pumpkin! I totally get what you mean, Ai. From the good will questioning from family and friends to the wondering of whether we can love the second as much as we love the first. I get that all the time too. I sure hope lil munchkin will come along soon but do take a step at a time and let things happen naturally, yeah? It will, definitely! Happy minds bring about happy things! Meet up soon!


Rhianna said...

Thankfully people have pretty much stopped asking me, since we have three already and all. We have four and five year gaps between the girls so when I did get those questions about the next ones they went for a long time. Hope Lil Munchkin doesn't keep you waiting to long

Ai Sakura said...

Josefa: thanks for dropping by! hope for some good news soon too :)

The Kids are All Right: Yup, that would be difficult I guess too. I know Lil Pumpkin will enjoy being an older sis, but know as well she will need time and effort to adjust to the new situation of sharing the love and time with a younger sibling.

Aroha: I know some are just genuinely concerned so it is hard to get upset with them.. but some things are best left unspoken or unasked. Your little boy is such a beautiful child too.

Chantelle: oh the audacity of that last person you mentioned! what does it matter to her anyway??

Summer: thanks! we will this Sat finally yay!

Rina said...

She is gorgeous! And there is never a perfect time to have kids..really! I have two boys and everyone keeps asking when I am going to have baby girl. I use to give them flat no :D

Denyse Whelan. said...

Hi there, I so understand this question and I wonder why people think they can ask it?? I had our daughter very easily then had heartbreaking years of infertility until a doctor found I had multiple cysts on ovaries. Our daughter was an only child for 7.5 years and she & her brother remain a generation apart. BUT it's up to you to tell people (if you want) about another child, not the other way round. From #TeamIbot

Crash Test Mummy said...

I think people just don't think before they ask. It's like we're conditioned to ask people when the next kid is coming along. It really is quite private!

All the best with magicking up a little brother or sister for Lil Pumpkin x

Grace said...

I think society should start thinking of some new rules and realise that it's actually quite rude to ask questions like this.
It's like you see a couple in their mid 30's (or even younger) who've been married for over 5 years but have no children. Unless they bring it up, I don't think it's in our place to ask! Same goes for a single woman in her 30's.
We never know what someone's going through. People should just learn to let it lie and just concentrate on their own problems.

Unknown said...

oh, yes I can definitely relate. People are always looking to the future. What's next, when when when - always personal questions, always assuming your life is on the same track as theirs. It's your life, your choice - and fingers crossed your next chapter unfolds as beautifully as the first has done. xxx

EssentiallyJess said...

I'm guilty of asking those questions too. I think most people use it as a conversation point, not meaning to be rude.
I'll be praying that lil munchkin comes along sooner rather than later xx

An Apel a Day said...

Some people have even asked when we're having more and we have 2 already. We're done, so that's my answer.

Ai Sakura said...

Rina: haha I should add your scenario to the list too! when you have a boy, they will ask when you are going to have a girl next or vice versa ;p

Denyse: yes we had Lil Pumpkin fairly easily too so that's why there's some fears on why it's taking so long for Lil Munchkin

Laney: thanks dear!

Grace: some really mean well so not upset with all of them. it's just that so many have been coming by nowadays that it just gets to you

Pip: thank you :)

Jess: of course, I understand that. I used to ask to not really putting much thought into it.. but now I realise maybe those harmles questions might have answers people don't feel like replying too

Alissa: I think some people just like big families! ;p

Serenely said...

I totally understand. It's also challenging when fellow mums in your circle start popping off no. 2 one by one. I've learnt that it's better to be discreet and not poke people with too many questions, whether about getting attached, getting married, having kids etc... you'll never know what pain lies behind the smiles.

An Apel a Day said...

I just wanted to add that I have 2 sisters. One is 2 years older than me. On is 5 years younger than me. I was closer to the younger one. We had more in common. I played with her to extend my childhood. As far as ages go between kids, it is what it is. If there is a big gap that doesn't mean they won't connect.

Stacy said...

Lil pumpkin IS a beautiful child. Baby dust to you to make another!

My case was the opposite - took a long time to conceive #1, and much shorter for #2. But having gone through the first experience, I know better now than to ask people when they're having a kid. You live and learn...